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My Friends ROCK = Gena Hondrogiannis

Good Morning Monday! I’m so excited for today’s post! What better way to kick off the week, than with highlighting another one of my friends who ROCKS? It’s hard to believe it, but Gena and I met a little over 7 years ago, when I first moved to Denver. We lived in the same apartment complex and we were instant friends and so were our pups. Gena is hard core and is such a awesome supporter of She Rocks Fitness. She’s gorgeous, smart, hard-working, and a fitness fanatic. I love how dedicated she is to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Read away and enjoy! THANKS GENA!

“My name is Gena Hondrogiannis, I grew up In Syracuse, NY and moved to Colorado in 1998. I’m an Italian American who grew up in the northeast where you were taught to clear your plate. I have always struggled with my weight; it’s been a constant uphill battle for me. I love to cook, bake and eat. My fitness life began in 2000 when I got a pass to 24hr gym. I’ve been working out for close to 12 years now and have just recently started figuring “it” out. It’s not how much you work out, yes it’s a very important part but more so, it’s how much you put in your mouth. In the past 8 months I have lost close to 20 lbs because of the choices I’ve made with food and most importantly my portions.

I am still for the most part doing my same workouts; run 4-5 miles every morning and weights. Then on the weekends I do boot camps (Fluent Fitness at Wash Park, Denver and It Burns Joe’s Fitness at Red Rocks, Colorado) and yoga. My eating though has been the element in my life that has changed. In the past I would eat until I was full, very full. I thought that because I worked out 5 days a week that I had a free pass to eat whatever I wanted, well I was very mistaken. Once I started cutting back on my portions my weight started dropping. This was such a great feeling and was really working for me until just recently when I began to get these uncontrollable cravings for sweets at 7:30 every evening. I would eat perfect all day. I had my 5-6 small meals, incorporating proteins, carbs, fiber, fruit, ect. Something happened though every night at 7:30 that completely derailed my sensible eating plan, it was like I didn’t even care about all the hard work I put in that day with eating right. So I would raid the fridge, cupboards and freezer, with anything I could get my hands on. I would take anything sweet and spread peanut butter on it and drink milk until I was full and then feel so guilty about it after. I would wake up the next morning anxious for the night to come so I could display self control yet every night at 7:30 all inhibitions would fall by the waist side.

I finally consulted an old friend, Katie Uhran, told her my situation and asked, scratch that, begged for help! She quickly responded back and started digging a little bit into what my routine was. Katie questioned if I was dealing with emotional problems, what were the biggest triggers for me to start overeating and how much I’m eating. She quickly realized that I wasn’t eating enough food during the day and while I may not have noticed it all throughout the day my self control at night was absent because my body needed more nourishment. Katie made a couple of key suggestions that have helped tremendously to get myself back on track! I have incorporated more food in the morning and have eliminated protein bars and replaced them with fruits and yogurts. I have only Katie to thank and am so grateful that she took time out of her very busy schedule to investigate and dissect what the real root of the problem was rather than just give me a quick and generic answer. It meant a lot that she went the extra mile to help me!

Aside from family, health and fitness are my passion and I strive very hard each and everyday to live a healthy and active lifestyle. My goals are to always keep pushing myself, even when it’s tough, to eat clean most of the time and to above all be a positive and strong woman! Those are my ongoing, everyday goals that keep me focused and give me drive.  This coming year I would like to see myself move further into my yoga practice, master some new moves and to maybe try some different fitness routines whether it be kickboxing, biking or even just trying a new class at the gym. Variety is the spice of life!! Keep pushing and love your life!”

Have you ever tried a boot camp class? If so, did you like it?

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. sarah #

    First off, you are beautiful.

    And next: I REALLY relate to this. I’m doing all the “wrong” things now and I don’t know how to escape it. The problem is exacerbated because I’m underweight, not exercising, and can’t afford a consultant 😦

    So glad you are feeling great now! I need to get to that place one day.

    December 19, 2011
    • Gena Hondrogiannis #

      Thank you so much Sarah! We all have to start somewhere and for me it took a while but once I “got it” and started applying it I made healthy eating and fitness my life. I use online tools to help me because I’m in the same boat, can’t afford a consultant. She Rocks Fitness blog and Women’s Health have been my go to. 🙂
      Best of luck to you!!

      December 24, 2011
  2. LOVE Bootcamp classes!! You can make people do ANYTHING! 🙂

    December 19, 2011
    • Gena Hondrogiannis #

      Bootcamp has pushed me farther than I have gone in the past. I ❤ Bootcamp!

      December 24, 2011
  3. Congrats Gena and Katie! This is so inspiring.

    December 19, 2011
    • Gena Hondrogiannis #

      Thank you Lauren! 🙂

      December 24, 2011
  4. Congrats on figuring out the best way for you to live well! I completely understand those evening sugar cravings – I actually discovered the same thing about myself, too. I wasn’t eating enough during the day, so at night, I’d just go crazy. Life’s definitely better when my eating is better balanced!

    December 20, 2011
    • Gena Hondrogiannis #

      Thank you Alyse! I hear you, when Katie told me that I had to eat more it was kind of scary to think of eating more but it totally worked! I’m glad it worked out for you as well!!

      December 24, 2011
  5. I love bootcamp classes! In fact, I used to teach them when I worked at the health club. The funny thing is I am always nervous walking in to a new class and seeing what torturous exercises are on the agenda.

    December 21, 2011
    • Gena Hondrogiannis #

      They are very intimidating Allison, but I feel like I get a much more intense workout in that setting as opposed to doing it on my own. Haha, I’m get nervous too!! 🙂

      December 24, 2011
  6. Thanks for the intuitive and honest post, Gena. I can totally relate to those evening sugar cravings you get and I even struggle with the same thing every so often, too. I wasn’t eating enough during the day, so at night, or sometimes late-afternoon, I’d just go crazy for anything I could get my hands on. I still struggle with it on occasion but balance is so important and it takes months to break a habit like that one. I definitely feel better when my eating is better, healthier, and balanced!

    December 23, 2011
  7. Gena Hondrogiannis #

    Thank you! It took a while to be honest with myself and I do have my set backs, not perfect by any means. I feel like now though, I’m in a more controlled state and I feel so much better! One trick that I do is sip caffein free peach tea at night. It helps curb the sugar craving. 🙂

    December 24, 2011

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